f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

October 3, 2005


Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 7:00 pm


Autumn days don’t get lovelier than today in Upstate New York

(unless you demand colorful leaves).  A good time for haiku from

Rochester (NY)’s Tom Painting:




the foul ball lands

in an empty seat

summer’s end








one seed
at a time
winter finch



leaves flying




autumn light

I lower the window

cover my child’s feet








a skim of ice

above the spillway

quaking aspen



“autumn light” & “the foul ball lands” – piano practice 

one seed” – The Heron’s Nest (March 2004); “a skim of ice” – Frogpond XXVIII:1 (2005)


  • by dagosan                                               

an autumn day

too good to waste –

the factory whistle blows






tourboat –

one walker slowly sinks



[Oct. 3, 2005]


tiny check  Don’t miss Ernie Svenson’s fine poem “Driving to the Airport,” 

and the poetic offerings of his colleagues at Between Lawyers.” 

(Find links to other lawyer poets at Strangers to Us All)


“tinyredcheck”  Yesterday (Oct. 2, 2005), a small, single-deck tour boat overturned

in nearby Lake George (NY), killing 21 elderly foliage-sighteers from Michigan. 

(see here and here)  It was a lovely Sunday, clear with calm waters.  A very sad

occasion, with  many unanswered questions. 


tiny check  There’s been too much weblogging for me on this visually- and

tactilely-perfect autumn day.  So, I’ll sign off and beat the sun to the horizon.








this George W. knows how to pronouce ‘Iraq’!

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 4:47 pm

Gen. George W. Casey, Jr., the commanding general of multinational and

U.S.forces in Iraq, was a fairly typical Administration talking head on ABC’s

This Week yesterday (all-tautologies-no-apologies). With one BIG difference

that made him an instant hero for Prof. Yabut: he knows how to pronounce

‘Iraq’ correctly — with the “I” pronounced as in “irritate” or “Iroquois,” not as

in “irate.”  Think ear-raq, instead of eye-raq.


GWCasey I hope Gen. Casey truly has a “plan and a strategy” to complete

America’s mission in Iraq quickly, with as little additional death and destruction

as possible.  But, I’m not at all sure he can manage that.  However, one thing

he can do immediately is instruct his spokespersons and all of our armed

forces in the Iraqi theatre to start pronouncing Iraq correctly — at least, when

they are being recorded for the public.  This may undo some of the damage

already done to American English since the current Administration took office.


tiny check Here are some ways to remember the correct pronunciation of “Iraq,” 

keyed to your preferred learning style:

For the Auditory Learner: Listen to the pronunciation provided

by American Heritage Dictionary.


For the Visual/Written Word learner:  Here is the  

American Heritage‘s pronunciation guide:  -rk, -r

Bush’s Terrible Two’s: choosing Harriet Miers

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 2:12 pm

With a petulant cry of “cronyism/schmonyism”, GW Bush has shown

the world that he will to appoint old friends and cronies if he wants to —

even to the most important and consequential positions. (see CNN.com,

“Bush picks White House counsel for Supreme Court”) President Bush’s

second choice for a Supreme Court justice looks from here to be a bad

case of Terrible Two’s — the need to prove just how independent and in

charge he is, while still needing the reassurance of  unqualified love and

devotion, which he apparently receives from Harriet Miers


MiersBush  Of course, I’m willing to be persuaded otherwise, but my initial

reaction is similar to that of Prof. Bainbridge: “This appointment reeks of

cronyism, which along with prideful arrogance seems to be the besetting

sin of the Bush presidency.”  And, Steve asks a great question: “Why is

the leader of a party that [is] supposedly about merit and against affirmative

action making an appointment that can only be explained as an affirmative

action choice?” [can you say “spousal suasion“?]


Naturally, unlike Prof. B, it’s not Miers’ lack of a “public track record of

proven conservative judicial values” that concerns me.  It’s the scarcity of

information for evaluating her likely judicial temperament (especially open-

minded fairness) or the excellence of her mind.  Her blind devotion to the

policies of George W. Bush, obviously worries me.  Making it all much

worse is the fear that neither party is likely to give us a confirmation process

that will enlighten or edify the public.


tiny check  I’ve often opined that I will gladly choose a person

with an excellent and open mind, with whom I often disagree,

over a person who always agrees with me but has either an  

agenda or a mediocre mind.  I can’t expect Pres. Bush to

name someone with whom I am likely to always agree, but

I do expect a nominee of high intelligence with no secret




Gimme that moon!

cries the crying



  translated by David G. Lanoue  


tiny check  You will, as expected, find much more on this topic

at the SCOTUSblog‘s roundup, and at The Volokh Conspiracy

Plus, more from Steve Bainbridge here and there.



telling her its time
for a diaper change:
   “I did not”


    Tom Clausen

      from Homework (Snapshot Press 2000)

update (Oct. 4, 2005):  Receiving a tip from Randy Barnett, Lawrence Solum

at Legal Theory Blog offers this very cogent excerpt from Alexander Hamilton

in Federal Papers No. 76 (emphases removed, because it’s all important):


HamiltonA  Federalist No. 76


To what purpose then require the co-operation of the Senate? I answer, that

the necessity of their concurrence would have a powerful, though, in general,

a silent operation. It would be an excellent check upon a spirit of favoritism

in the President, and would tend greatly to prevent the appointment of unfit

characters from State prejudice, from family connection, from personal

attachment, or from a view to popularity. In addition to this, it would be an

efficacious source of stability in the administration. 



It will readily be comprehended, that a man who had himself the sole disposition

of offices, would be governed much more by his private inclinations and interests,

than when he was bound to submit the propriety of his choice to the discussion

and determination of a different and independent body, and that body an entier

branch of the legislature. The possibility of rejection would be a strong motive to

care in proposing. The danger to his own reputation, and, in the case of an elective

magistrate, to his political existence, from betraying a spirit of favoritism, or an

unbecoming pursuit of popularity, to the observation of a body whose opinion would

have great weight in forming that of the public, could not fail to operate as a barrier

to the one and to the other. He would be both ashamed and afraid to bring forward,

for the most distinguished or lucrative stations, candidates who had no other merit

than that of coming from the same State to which he particularly belonged, or of

being in some way or other personally allied to him, or of possessing the necessary

insignificance and pliancy to render them the obsequious instruments of his pleasure.


update (Oct. 6, 2005): As Prof. Bainbridge points out today, Robert Novak wrote

today that Pres. Bush was irked by those who kept insisting he satisfy his base

and who opposed the selection of other Bush cronies (like AG Gonzales).  So,

(like a two-year-old, we’d say) GW “showed them” who’s in charge. Steve collected

a few links and adjectives for us:

“It fits the picture of a President who’s got a short fuse, intense loyalty

to a very select group of people, a strong stubborn streak, a reputation f

or holding grudges, and who maybe never really was a true believer



                                                                                                                     hand prints flip


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